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Catholic Activity: Marian Hymn: Ave Maris Stella

Mother Church recommends the Ave Maris Stella, which is the vesper hymn of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Compare the theology of this hymn with the sentimental ballads which are customarily taught to children in honor of their heavenly Mother and Mediatrix:

DIRECTIONS

Ave, Star of ocean,
Child divine who bearest,
Mother, ever Virgin,
Heaven's portal fairest.

Taking that sweet Ave
Erst by Gabriel spoken,
Eva's name reversing,
Be of peace the token.

Break the sinner's fetters,
Light to blind restoring,
All our ills dispelling,
Every boon imploring.

Show thyself a mother
In thy supplication,
He will hear who chose thee
At His Incarnation.

Maid all maids excelling,
Passing meek and lowly,
Win for sinners pardon,
Make us chaste and holy.

As we onward journey
Aid our weak endeavor,
Till we gaze on Jesus
And rejoice forever.

Father, Son, and Spirit,
Three in One confessing,
Give we equal glory
Equal praise and blessing.

— Ethelstan Riley translation

Activity Source: True Christmas Spirit by Rev. Edward J. Sutfin, Grail Publications, St. Meinrad, Indiana, 1955

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